Some people expect to fly over to any country that speaks English and just walk right in and start navigating with ease. But you should know, that things aren’t always that simple. This blog is not about the toilet flushing in the opposite direction, I assure you. Rather I will be providing more meaningful insight on thing you should know before planning a trip down under.
Plane tickets? Check. Passport? Check. Visa? What…..? That’s right, when going to the land down under, even U.S. citizens need a tourism visa in order to enter the country. Really not hard to obtain, but helpful to know ahead of time. (Psst. You can get one here). Keep in mind that Australia is in the Southern hemisphere so December – February is their Summer time, and therefore their peak season. The best times to travel to Australia are the shoulder seasons, when the weather is nice but it’s not too crowded and relatively inexpensive: October, November, March, April.
A lot of people, myself included, assume that Australia is a relatively small country, easily doable in a one to two week time span. But in reality, Australia is nearly the size of the United States and things are pretty spread out. Most of the major cities are on the coast lines, with vast areas of empty space like the Outback, between them. You can’t just fly into Sydney, and hit up the Reef, hug a koala and surf the Gold Coast all in one weekend. In fact, the Great Barrier Reef, which is accessible via Cairns is a 24 hour drive, or a 3 hour flight. The Gold Coast and Brisbane are about a ten hour drive from Sydney as well, and that’s all on the Eastern half of the country. To see all that Australia has to offer would take lots of traveling to and fro, and a several week commitment.
Another thing to watch out for in Australia is wildlife. Depending on where you are in the country, you could encounter kangaroos, dingos, crocodiles, jelly fish and sharks. As cute and exotic as a native Australian animal is, you shouldn’t approach any of them, they are dangerous.
Australia is an amazing country and although it’s one of the most expensive places to get to, it’s worth the trip. If you plan accordingly, you won’t be sorry you made the trek. Bon Voyage!
Any other advice you would give to Australia bound newbies?
Have you been to the land down under?